“50 AND FORWARD“ CELEBRATION LAUNCHED DURING 2015 CONFERENCE
CONTACT: Jeanne Johnson or Jeff Douglas
Phone: 202/371-9195, x144
Washington, D.C., -- The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) launched its 50th anniversary celebration at the association’s 2015 annual conference in Washington, DC.
The year-long observation is designed to commemorate 50 years of creating excellence in academic veterinary medicine and lead to future, greater levels of success for academic veterinary medicine. The theme of the AAVMC’s 50th anniversary celebration is “Fifty and Forward.“
“We’re proud of all that has been accomplished, but the purpose of the AAVMC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration is much more than an effort to commemorate this very important milestone in the history of the organization,“ said Dr. Ralph Richardson, dean of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine and chair of a 12-member 50th Anniversary Planning Committee that has been working for more than a year to develop the project. “What we hope to do with this celebration is illuminate the critical role that academic veterinary medicine is playing in the modern world and build greater awareness and support for what we do.“
The year-long celebration kicked off at the March 2015 annual conference and wraps up at the March 2016 annual AAVMC Conference – the 50th year of service (1966-2016). The concluding celebration will be a gala event featuring distinguished guests from throughout the profession, federal government agency and Congressional leaders, and executives from major corporations working in animal and human health.
That gala will feature the announcement of the 50th Anniversary Grand Initiative, a transformational project conceived to help our colleges and the profession build momentum and create progress.
During the opening ceremony, AAVMC and committee officials highlighted some of the major special events and communication programs that have been developed as part of the celebration, including a six-minute video profile of the AAVMC and a 30-second television public service announcement (PSA). A painting commissioned as part of the celebration was also formally unveiled.
That painting will be featured on the cover of two special publications that will be created as part of the anniversary celebration. A special 50th anniversary edition of the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education in fall 2015 will examine the AAVMC’s 50-year body of work from a more scholarly perspective. And noted veterinary medical historian and former Cornell Dean Dr. Don Smith will author a history book to be published in early 2016. For its anniversary, the AAVMC refreshed its home page and constructed a special 50th anniversary section.
AAVMC communications and government relations staff will be working from Washington to develop awareness and appreciation among national media, the veterinary trade press, Congress and executive agencies throughout the year.
But a key part of the success of the anniversary celebration will be to elicit grassroots engagement from member institutions, according to AAVMC Senior Communications Consultant Jeff Douglas, who serves as staff liaison to the 50th Anniversary Committee.
“This national anniversary of organized academic veterinary medicine provides a wonderful opportunity for our member institutions to leverage the celebration to their advantage at the local level,“ said Douglas. “By embracing the celebration in their service region, our colleges and schools can refresh relationships with key stakeholder groups and build broader recognition for the many contributions they routinely make in their own service areas.“
Throughout the anniversary year, deans are being asked to present the 50th anniversary video and profile their institutions for state VMA’s, agricultural commodity and companion animal organizations, university and community audiences and other groups. The PSA has been produced in a manner that enables individual institutions to customize it for their school, Douglas said.
View the AAVMC anniversary website at aavmc.org/Anniversary.aspx.
The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Its members include 35 veterinary medical colleges in the United States and Canada, nine departments of veterinary science, eight departments of comparative medicine, thirteen international colleges of veterinary medicine, and six affiliate colleges of veterinary medicine: www.aavmc.org.
About Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine
The Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine (TUSVM) historically was established in 1945. TUSVM graduated its first class of fully qualified veterinarians in 1949. Since then, it has graduated more than 70% of the African-American veterinarians in the USA. TUSVM graduates hold key leadership positions in the government, military, academia and in the international arena. TUSVM is one of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges’ member institutions. For more information on TUSVM, please visit www.onemedicine.tuskegee.edu/ and www.tuskegee.edu.